Cops Are Never Appreciated for Doing Their Job.

Police in Wichita, Kansas, recently decided to crack down on impatient motorists who ignore the flashing lights and drive around lowered gates at grade crossings to beat the trains.

I’ve written about this insanity before, as regulars here know. The fact is that, on average, someone is killed in this manner every day, day after day, year ’round. Often it’s because they are expecting the train to be a slow-moving freight, but it turns out to be an Amtrak train running at 80 miles an hour. Uh-oh … BAM!! In collisions like these, the train always wins. Always.

Anyway, the Wichita cops put officers up front with the engineer in the head end of freight locomotives to catch the license plate numbers of cars committing this violation. They wrote a dozen tickets in one day … and I’m quite sure a number of other violators got off because officers were unable to see the license plate number clearly.

Here’s the thing: When the story appeared in the local newspaper, many of the comments criticized the police for “wasting time” with that exercise. Really? Tell that to the families and friends of the nearly 400 people killed this way every year.